You are here

Energy Research Program launched


HEI kicked off its new Energy Research Program with a public meeting in mid-January. Hosted by HEI’s new Energy Research Committee, the meeting brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss recommendations for Year 1 of the program, which will explore potential health effects associated with oil and natural gas development from unconventional resources.

Ten speakers from federal and state government, nongovernmental organizations, community groups, industry, and academia engaged in a productive exchange with the Committee and other meeting participants about HEI’s plans for its systematic review of the health literature, its review of the exposure literature, and future research challenges and opportunities. These reviews will summarize what is known and what knowledge gaps remain, and the Committee will then plan accordingly for original re¬search, which will begin in Year 2.                                            

Photo of Shari Dunn-Norman, Elaine Faustman, and Nicole Deziel “The new, independent Energy Research Program will bring credible science to bear on discussions of the potential for population exposure and health effects associated with the development of oil and natural gas from unconventional resources,” said HEI Vice President Bob O’Keefe. “This effort represents a significant expansion of HEI’s model to address questions involving not only oil- and gas-related emissions to air, but also releases to water and other potential points of exposure that might have health effects. The launch of this program is a testament to the value of the HEI model and our unique ability to offer trusted science to shed light on key national priorities.”

The Energy Research Committee defines and oversees the multidisciplinary research program in collaboration with HEI staff. To ensure the highest scientific quality and integrity of the research program, the Committee consists of members who were chosen because they are internationally recognized experts in one or more subject areas relevant to the Committee’s work, have demonstrated their ability to conduct and review scientific research impartially,  are independent of sponsor organizations, and have been vetted for conflicts of interest.

HEI is pleased to announce the first seven members of the Energy Research Committee:

George Hornberger, Vanderbilt University, Director, Vanderbilt Institute for Energy & Environment, Nashville, Tennessee (Chair)

Shari Dunn-Norman, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri

Elaine M. Faustman, University of Washington–Seattle

Howard Hu, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Judy S. LaKind, LaKind Associates, LLC, and University of Maryland–Baltimore

Armistead (Ted) G. Russell, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

Stefanie Ebelt Sarnat, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia


Pictured, from left: Committee members Shari Dunn-Norman and Elaine Faustman, with Nicole Deziel of the Yale School of Public Health.